Los Angeles should be a biking paradise. It's mostly flat, the weather is great year round, and killer traffic makes biking an appealing alternative. But the city still lags far behind other places in bike-friendliness, and a push for more bike paths is gaining steam. Foundations, too, are giving more attention to this area.
One lucky recipient of bicycle oriented funding is CicLAvia, a group that organizes large events in LA to promote car-free days. The group’s name comes from the Spanish word ciclovia which means, you guessed it, “bike path.” CicLAvia has been organizing events since 2010, opening up as much as 10 miles of roadway at a time for car-free biking, skating, and walking. It also has a healthy number of funders including the Wasserman Foundation ($25,000 in 2012 and $50,000 in 2013; see IP's Profile), the Roth Family Foundation ($15,000 in 2013), the Rosenthal Family Foundation, the Goldhirsh Foundation, the Durfee Foundation, and REI. They are also funded by the David Bohnett Foundation which sponsors a number of cycling projects.
The David Bohnett Foundation (see IP's Profile) only gave $1,000 to CicLAvia in 2013, but they gave big to the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition and to the Angelenos Against Gridlock. The Coalition received a grant for $30,000 a year for two years to activate and educate for a more bike-friendly LA, while the Angelenos received $25,000 to promote a better transportation system in LA including better bikeways and bikeshare services.
We hear that the Ralph M. Parsons Foundation is also funding in this area, and will be writing more about that soon. L.A. may be a car-centric town, but things are changing. Demand for bike paths is increasing and so is the funding to back it up.